Slightly salty cherry leaves are blended into green tea, presenting a fresh clean taste. You will feel as if you are surrounded by young cherry leaves swaying in a balmy breeze.
First, a warning: I went to San Francisco this weekend because I knew Lupicia had gotten a restock recently, and ended up walking out with a free-with-purchase 30 tea sampler. So those of you who are sick of my single brand reviews might want to avoid this blog for the next little bit.*
"Because the tin is pretty" is not the best reason to buy a tea, but it's not the worst, either. And that's really the only reason I had to buy this, and its companion Sakura (Sakura Houjicha was also available, but I am not a huge fan of the houjicha and wasn't willing to risk it, even if the tin was the cutest). Don't get me wrong, it's not that I thought it would be bad; I just had no idea whether it would be good.
Actually, I was originally disappointed that the Sakuranbo tins mentioned in Lupicia's April newsletter weren't in stock, as they're very cute and cherry is more in the vein of the fruity teas I usually drink. Now that I've realized America is just a newsletter behind Japan, I'm still disappointed, as apparently we don't get the girly White Day varieties Cookie, Vanilla, and BonBon. What's the deal, Japan? We don't get a tea salon, and now you're holding out on us for flavors?
But back to Sakura Vert. I was a little concerned about a tea that billed itself as "slightly salty". Sure, a number of the teas I enjoy - Gunpowder being the most obvious example - are a little on the salty side, but most of the teas I've gotten from Lupicia have been sweet and fruity, and that's what I've come to expect from them. Also, there's a big difference between naturally salty undertones and actually salting the leaves, as this does.
So, evaluation? Very salty, as teas go; not much in the way of scent, either brewed or unbrewed; slightly smoky. It's very Japanese, and would be awesome for a cherry blossom viewing party (is there a more concise translation of hanami?), assuming you weren't having booze, which is a pretty big assumption. Lupicia says it would be good with bento or sweets, but I think it would be better with something sturdier - maybe a nice sandwich.
Overall: I'll say three stars. Good, but not really my style.**
*That's a lie. Please don't go, I'm so lonely...
**"Not my cup of tea" deliberately avoided